The Moon

Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is placed.

The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray
Mounts up the eastern sky,
Not doomed to these short nights for aye,
But shining steadily.

She does not wane, but my fortune,
Which her rays do not bless,
My wayward path declineth soon,
But she shines not the less.

And if she faintly glimmers here,
And paled is her light,
Yet alway in her proper sphere
She's mistress of the night.

by Henry David Thoreau

Comments (6)

*wat = way *foreward = forward
Thanx for posting the whole poem. It is a wonder.* *
Thank you James for your contribution (I will now proceed to comment on this BRILLIANT poem) This has to be my favorite poem by Charles. It really shows how powerful the simple things in the world are to him, and how from something as mundane as sitting in a cafe while it's snowing could have such a powerful effect on him. There is magic in this world, but it's hidden. If you're lucky enough to actually have your mind, heart, soul, and eyes open when you're in it's presence, then you will understand this poem personally.
This is not the full text of the poem. It's actually much more interesting and meaningful than that. The full text of this poem taken from another poetry site ( is: not much chance, completely cut loose from purpose, he was a young man riding a bus through North Carolina on the wat to somewhere and it began to snow and the bus stopped at a little cafe in the hills and the passengers entered. he sat at the counter with the others, he ordered and the food arived. the meal was particularly good and the coffee. the waitress was unlike the women he had known. she was unaffected, there was a natural humor which came from her. the fry cook said crazy things. the dishwasher. in back, laughed, a good clean pleasant laugh. the young man watched the snow through the windows. he wanted to stay in that cafe forever. the curious feeling swam through him that everything was beautiful there, that it would always stay beautiful there. then the bus driver told the passengers that it was time to board. the young man thought, I'll just sit here, I'll just stay here. but then he rose and followed the others into the bus. he found his seat and looked at the cafe through the bus window. then the bus moved off, down a curve, downward, out of the hills. the young man looked straight foreward. he heard the other passengers speaking of other things, or they were reading or attempting to sleep. they had not noticed the magic. the young man put his head to one side, closed his eyes, pretended to sleep. there was nothing else to do- just to listen to the sound of the engine, the sound of the tires in the snow.
Shame! ! ! , 'not much chance 'to read (and print) the full text from your site............Why is it? ? ? That's it; I'll go somewhere else to get this powerful poem I discovered through Tom Waits' latest album listening.Thanks to him, shame on you!
See More